The Florida Council of 100 business group wanted to avoid controversy by dis-inviting former Gov. Charlie Crist from speaking.
The decision became statewide news and it gave Crist a more-elevated platform than he otherwise had. Now, Sen. Dwight Bullard, the chair of the Florida Legislative Black Caucus, and Rep. Perry E. Thurston, Florida House Democratic Caucus chair, have sent a letter to the group that accuses it of being spineless -- and racially exclusionary.
Here's the letter:
Florida’s Council of 100 purports to be a “nonprofit, nonpartisan organization of business leaders, which exists to promote the economic growth of Florida.” Your mission statement even claims you are seeking to “effect positive change” that is “beneficial to all Floridians.”
So it was simply incredible to us that your organization would abruptly cancel an invitation to speak by a Democratic candidate running for governor simply because he is a Democrat. It is amazing that your assemblage of powerful business leaders would so easily bend to the bullying of Governor Scott — who apparently just wanted to quiet any view of Florida inconsistent with his own.
Disregarding that you purport to be a “nonpartisan” organization, who does your organization truly represent?
Your officers and board are comprised of 31 people, of whom only five are women and only three appear to be Democrats. Of the 31 Floridians who lead your organization, not one of them is an African-American.
To repeat, in the year 2014, not one of your 31 officers or directors is an African-American. Your actions and your choices make it abundantly clear whom you seek to represent.